What’s a typical response when someone hurts us?
Perhaps we’re prone to defend ourselves. Maybe we’re tempted to avoid that person for a long time or to retaliate by saying unkind things about him to others. Maybe we establish walls to keep that person out lest he hurt us again.
As Easter approaches, I’m reminded of Christ’s response towards Judas, and I’m challenged at His display of extravagant grace towards this man who was about to betray Him.
Christ knew that Judas was His enemy, yet He knelt before him and washed his feet. Imagine the Savior knowing full well the suffering that awaited Him and the role Judas would play in bringing it to pass, yet treating him with the same love and honor shown to His other disciples that night in the upper room (John 13).
We might think this was an easy feat for Christ. After all, He was the Son of God and nothing was impossible for Him. And yet, Scripture says something contrary: “Now Jesus was in great anguish of spirit, and he exclaimed, ‘The truth is, one of you will betray me!’” (John 13:21)
Great anguish of spirit. That’s how we might feel, too, when someone wounds us deeply. We might feel justified in seeking revenge, but we need to follow Christ’s example. He initiated kindness even though He knew Judas was about to betray Him. His actions demonstrated the life-changing power of the Gospel.
As followers of Jesus, let’s demonstrate the life-changing power of the Gospel, too. Let’s be the first to say, “I forgive you,” and “I love you.” Let’s be the first to extend an act of kindness towards that person who has hurt us. And let’s do it despite there being no guarantee of our desired outcome.
Let’s extend God’s extravagant grace to those who hurt us. How dare we do anything different when He’s extended His grace to us through Christ’s death on the cross?